(UnitedVoice.com) – Just because Christmas is over doesn’t mean the scammers have given up. As Americans return gifts and spend money that was given to them, fraudsters are trying to trick them out of their information.
Package scams are a popular way for criminals to trick people into giving them money or their personal information. They do this by sending consumers a message, either through email or text, about a package delivery. The message usually contains a link and encourages the receiver to click on it to track their package that wasn’t delivered yet. Scammers have gotten really good at making these messages appear as though they are from a legitimate delivery company, like Amazon or UPS.
Instead of receiving information about a delivery when they click on the link, the person who received the message might accidentally download malware onto their device. Sometimes, they are prompted to add more information, which allows the fraudster to steal whatever they reveal.
According to the FBI’s 2022 Internet Crimes Report, Americans lost more than $281 million on non-delivery scams last year. They lost more than $9 million on malware schemes.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) suggests consumers contact the delivery company directly if they have a question about their package. They should use the number they find for the company on its website, not the number or email that they received the message from about the delivery.
There are also ways for consumers to filter unwanted messages or prevent them from reaching them at all. Android and iPhone users are able to block messages from unknown senders. Consumers can also download call-blocking apps to block text messages they don’t want to receive. The FTC recommends going to ctia.org for a list of apps.
Consumers can also report unwanted messages by copying the message and sending it to 7726 (SPAM) or report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
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